The son of a pastor, Jonathan Beck spent his early business career in Silicon Valley, helping with three different companies to successful growth and acquisitions.
A decade later, Beck has returned to his faithful roots with the Software as a Service company WeGive Inc., which helps enterprise nonprofits and faith-based organizations acquire more donations and keep supporters closely engaged.
Beck is founder and CEO of the SaaS platform WeGive, a Solana Beach-headquartered business that originally started as a mobile application that would allow users to donate to charities of their choice, but pivoted from a consumer app to a B2B software platform.
WeGive’s digital engagement and giving platform allows nonprofits and churches to do everything from accept donations online and set up fundraisers to host events and run major donor pledges or match campaigns.
Beck explains that WeGive allows organizations to connect their customer relationship management (CRM) or database to WeGive, where they “get a powerful branded app that sits directly on their website and gives all their supporters a profile where they can easily see everything about how they are making a difference – (through) impact stories, numbers, graphs and more — and easy ways to support, give or stay engaged.”
‘Powerful Tool’ for Charitable Giving
Charitable giving is big business.
According to Giving USA, the total amount given to charity in 2021 was nearly $485 billion, with giving by individuals making up $327 billion of that total. Beck says that nearly $150 billion of that went to churches and faith-based organizations.
Meaningful donor journeys can be customized, Beck said, with what he says is “the only marketing automation system in the industry made specifically for charity with automated segmenting and hundreds of variables for automated but highly personalized messages, texts, emails and even handwritten letters.”
WeGive also improves retention and data cleanliness for the organization while also improving conversion rates with highest converting and only one-click checkout for giving, using the highest converting digital tools available in one cohesive solution – instead of piecing together various legacy software.
“WeGive is a powerful tool that supports faith-based organizations and churches by providing cutting edge fundraising software that recognizes the importance of connecting with supporters in a personalized manner,” said Maddy Weinberg, WeGive’s customer success manager. “Not only does WeGive provide its customers with beautifully designed checkouts and donor portals, it goes a step beyond its competitors by offering dynamic supporter engagement flows, personalized ‘thank you’ messages, content that displays donor impact, CRM-like functionality and more.”
WeGive’s business plan matches its customers’ business in that it is variable, based on the success of fundraising efforts and communication efforts, Beck said.
“Instead of locking customers into long and complicated annual contracts and billing them monthly or yearly, we give them the platform for free and charge a transaction fee based on usage,” he said. “When our customers experience value from our solution, so do we. When they do not, we do not.”
Jon Dale, senior director of innovation at Wild at Heart, a Christian ministry in Colorado Springs, said after years of looking and trying many available giving platform solutions, Wild at Heart leaders have found “the perfect partner” in WeGive.
“As a SalesForce based non-profit, it was shocking to discover that there weren’t any good, user friendly donation and event platforms that integrate with Salesforce Inc. seamlessly,” Dale said. “We didn’t just replace our existing giving platform but also replaced Salesforce experience cloud with WeGive user accounts. We’ve seen a 50% YTD increase in giving households since implementing WeGive and the majority of our donors are now covering their own processing fees.”
Dale said that from his perspective, WeGive is “uniquely positioned to grab a huge chunk of the market.”
Beck previously worked in the product sphere for MarketRiders, the first robo-advisor; in analytics/data at DebtMarket, a marketplace for trading securitized debt portfolios; and in growth/sales/marketing as a founding team member at PayStand, a current multi-billion valuated B2B payments company.
Bootstrapped by Beck in 2018 before the company raised a pre-seed round and later a seed round, WeGive’s investors include Mucker Capital, Okapi Ventures, Stage Venture Partners, SaaS Venture Inc., Serra Ventures and TSVC Capital.
A New Direction
WeGive’s original focus was to provide a mobile app that helped individuals find organizations, easily give to them, and then get feedback on how they made a difference.
It wasn’t alone in that arena, and Beck said several other companies tried to do the same thing — and failed, including Google’s “One Today” and Wealthfront’s executive team’s “Daffy.”
Beck said WeGive’s goal at the time was to give people the opportunity to have more meaning and purpose in their lives by making giving easier and more enjoyable – “because donating is essentially a purchase of meaning for one’s identity.”
He said the company quickly realized that nonprofits needed what WeGive had built – “which was essentially to provide a premium digital experience and highly personalized communications, instead of a impersonal and static digital experience with practically no communication.”
He said the goal remains still the same, but WeGive also wants the organizations using its software to increase their donations through retaining their existing givers.
FOUNDER & CEO: Jonathan Beck
HEADQUARTERS: Solana Beach
VOLUME: $200M in processing volume
EMPLOYEES: 9 (15 expected in 2024)
CONTACT: 628-300-4030 and firstname.lastname@example.org
SOCIAL IMPACT: WeGive is a charitable giving entity
NOTABLE: Company was originally a mobile app for people to give but has found a business home as a SaaS platform for organizations